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cimbalom, a sophisticated stringed instrument of the dulcimer household used in tiny music ensembles by central European Roma (Gypsies). The instrument has actually a trapezoidal body that stands on four legs. It has a chromatic array of four octaves and, unchoose other dulcimers, a pedal system for damping the strings. The cimbalom has around 125 steel strings, with 3 to 5 strings per note. Some of the strings have two or three bridges alengthy their length. The musician, that plays in a seated place, strikes the strings with two small, spoon-shaped wood hammers, one organized in each hand. The hammers are covered through either hard or soft leather, depending on the tone high quality wanted.

Related to the Center Eastern sanṭūr and the Gerguy Hackbrett, the cimbalom was played in Hungary by the 16th century. Portable individual cimbalom of older beginnings are played in the rural areas of Hungary, through very closely related forms discovered in Romania, Greece, Poland also, Latusing, Lithuania, and Estonia. The portable version of the cimbalom is strapped throughout the player’s shoulders, and the performer stands while playing.

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The modern-day cimbalom was developed in Budapest around 1870 by Jozsef Schunda. Some twenty years later on it was prodeclared the nationwide instrument of Hungary, and also by 1897 courses in cimbalom instruction were readily available at the Budapest Academy of Music. Franz Liszt presented the cimbalom as an orchestral instrument in his Ungarischer Sturmmarsch (1876), and it was later on supplied by Igor Stravinskies in Le Renard (1916) and Ragtime (1918) and by Zoltán Kodály in Háry János (1926).